August is drawing to a close. That’s a relief for high school football fans.
Who knows how many actually drew X’s on each day to hasten the fall religion’s arrival, but those first games will be played on Aug. 31. Most of the state begins Friday, Sept. 1.
If you’re an avid follower of your favorite team, you probably have the 2017 schedule memorized. If you don’t, or if you’re just interested in what key games could emerge, we’re here to help.
Northeast Tarrant County placed 11 of its 15 area teams — Euless Trinity, Justin Northwest, Southlake Carroll, Grapevine, Colleyville Heritage, Trophy Club Byron Nelson, Keller Central, Keller Fossil Ridge, Keller Timber Creek, Birdville and Richland — in the 2016 postseason.
Given the expectations, there’s a pretty good chance you will see that kind representation again for the 2017 postseason.
We’re not going week by week. We will offer an honorable mention where necessary. Still, mark these matchups:
Colleyville Heritage at Aledo, Sept. 1, Bearcat Stadium: The sequel to the 2016 season opener (Aledo held on in the closing seconds, 41-36) has the potential to be just as good. Maybe better. There are at least five Division I or FCS recruits that will be in this game. That number could swell to double digits. Preseason rankings give these two their due. If you want to drive out to Eastern Parker County, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Honorable mention: Keller Fossil Ridge at Arlington Lamar, Sept. 1; Carroll at Broken Arrow (Oklahoma), Sept. 1
Spring Westfield at Euless Trinity, Sept. 8, Pennington Field: Consider this a litmus test for the Trojans. Their 2016 didn’t end well. They were bounced quickly from the playoffs. A lot of eyes are going to be on this team to see where it is for the rest of the season. The following week, the Trojans play host to Colleyville Heritage.
Honorable mention: Richland at Keller Central, Sept. 7. Grapevine at Abilene Cooper, Sept. 8.
Keller Fossil Ridge vs. Keller Timber Creek, Sept. 29, KISD Athletic Complex: This is the district opening weekend for the just about everyone in NET. These two teams are loaded with great offensive weapons. Defense could be optional. But it’s also going to go a long way as to determining the District 3-6A championship.
Abilene at Keller Fossil Ridge, Oct. 6, KISD Athletic Complex: If you’re the Panthers, you’re going to know a lot about yourselves in the opening two weeks of the district season. They could either be in position to dictate the district race or have to play themselves into playoff contention.
Honorable mention: White Settlement Brewer at Justin Northwest, Oct. 6, NISD Stadium (District 6-5A).
Justin Northwest at Saginaw Boswell, Oct. 20: Admittedly, these two programs will probably be chasing Aledo for the District 6-5A championship. But they are playoff-calibre teams. They combined for 19 wins in the 2016. The Texans will be at Aledo on Nov. 3.
Grapevine vs. Colleyville Heritage, Oct. 27, Mustang-Panther Stadium: Perhaps this is for the District 8-5A championship. The Mustangs’ upset in 2016 snapped a losing streak in this series dating back to 2009. By this time, Grapevine should know where its new defense stands.
Southlake Carroll at Hebron, Nov. 10: A very interesting regular-season finale for both teams. The District 5-6A championship could be on the line. The Dragons are predicted to win it. Hebron is predicted third but replaces 12 total starters. The Hawks are stubborn and could push the Dragons.
Honorable mention: Richland at Colleyville Heritage, Nov. 10, Mustang-Panther Stadium. Euless Trinity at Flower Mound Marcus, Nov. 10.